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To compare the cost and quality of a memory-clinic-based service (MCS) with a traditional community mental health team (CMHT) service. Using a retrospective case-note review, we studied two groups, each with 33 participants. Consecutive referrals for diagnostic ‘memory’ assessments over 4 months were evaluated. Participants were evaluated for up to 6 months.
The MCS was less costly than the CMHT service but the difference was not statistically significant (mean cost for MCS was £742, mean cost for CMHT service was £807). The MCS offered more multidisciplinary and comprehensive care, including: pre- and post-diagnostic counselling, more systematic screening of blood for reversible causes of dementia, more use of structured assessment instruments in patients/carers, signposting to the third sector as well as more consistent copying of letters to patients/carers.
An MCS service offered more comprehensive and multidisciplinary service at no extra cost to secondary care.
We examined the impact of a crisis resolution and home treatment teams (CRHTT) on hospital admission rates, bed days and treatment satisfaction among older people with mental illness and their carers. We compared these factors in the 6 months before the service started and 6 months after its introduction.
The CRHTT significantly reduced admissions (P<0.001), but there was no significant difference in the length of hospital stay as compared before and after the introduction of this service. There was a trend towards carers, but not patients, being more satisfied with treatment after the introduction of the CRHTT.
The CRHTT reduced hospital admissions for older people by 31% and carers preferred the service. Further research on crisis teams in older people with mental illness is needed using randomised controlled methodology.
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